What are the next steps?
The UK Government, on behalf of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, has already launched a public consultation on the proposed smoking and vaping measures to give the public an opportunity to share their views. Cancer Research UK will be responding to this consultation, and we encourage our supporters to do so too.
Having this bill included in the King’s Speech means that it will be brought to Parliament for both MPs and Lords to consider for approval.
The Conservative party has indicated this will be a “free vote” for its members (meaning that Conservative MPs won’t be instructed on how to vote), but Labour has already said it will “whip” its MPs to vote in favour of the legislation.
In its notes on the Bill, the UK Government has said it wishes to implement these measures “as soon as possible after the consultation closes in early December”. Since there’s not much time until Parliament goes on recess for Christmas, this will likely be finalised in 2024.
This Bill will extend to England and Wales, though for the moment it only applies to England. However, the UK Government has also said that it is working closely with the other devolved nations and would support them if they also decide to also implement these measures.
Campaigning in a marathon and not a sprint, and it’s only with the support from our partners and supporters that we got to this point. Our next job is to make sure this measure is implemented, and with your support, we can make sure all political parties see why this is a crucial step towards a smokefree generation.
If you’d like to get involved and make sure that this legislation is introduced quickly and becomes law, join our #SmokefreeUK campaign today.
Alizée Froguel is a policy development manager at Cancer Research UK